Artist Spotlight: Krystyna Sadowska

Another interesting artist you can find in our permanent collection: Krystyna Sadowska. Sadowska was born in Lublin, Poland in 1912. She studied painting, tapestry, woodworking, printmaking, and graphic art in Warsaw at the Academy of Fine arts. Sadowska’s drawings express universal love and unity – she incorporated many universal signs and symbols so people could identify with it that no matter where her artwork was in the world.

In 1937, the Polish Government sent her to Brazil to teach Polish immigrants how to make crafts and establish themselves in society. She met her husband, Konrad Sadowska in Brazil when he was sent to deliver both the news of her mother’s death and that her tapestry work had been awarded a gold metal by the French government (2012). They returned to Poland just before the war broke out – during WWII, they bounced around from place to place, living in Hungary, France, Algiers, and England, but eventually ended up back in Parana, Brazil. (2012)

Sadowska continued her art studies, training at the Grande Chaumiere in France and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Sadowska and her husband were invited to exhibit their art in Rio de Janeiro and the National Exhibition of Brazil, where they by chance met an official from the Canadian Embassy. (2012).

In 1949 Sadowska and her husband immigrated to Canada – she set up her own pottery studio and taught pottery and ceramics at the Ontario College of Art. Following the death of her husband in 1960, Sadowska left the college and focused on her own art, working in a multitude of media.

Woman’s Head 2 (nd) belongs to the gallery’s permanent collection and was on display in our student-led exhibit, Face Value. As a part of the exhibition, this work was used to examine the ways in which women are represented in art and the media – in examining theories by Erving Goffman, it was concluded that women in the media are typically depicted covering body parts, and having a gaze that looks away from the viewer. These women are thus interpreted as being docile, soft, fragile, vulnerable, submissive, powerless, and unsure of themselves and the space they are in.

 Sadowska .jpg

Untitled (nd) also belongs to the gallery’s permanent collection and was used in our student-led exhibition, Face Value, to represent an aspect of the human experience we all require and perform – sleep.

Sadowska 2 .jpg

If you have any comments, join the conversation below!


Alexandra Pulchny (Outreach and Collections Assistant, Summer 2017)

Works Cited:

Acadia University Art Gallery Artist Files (nd)

“Artist Database: Sadowska, Krystyna”. Canadian Women’s Artists History Initiative. July 11, 2012.


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